The NM Senate has unanimously passed a state budget and applauded itself for the accomplishment. Their version of the General Appropriations Act, contained in SB 313, calls for spending of $6.19 billion or a 5 percent increase. Higher education gets approximately a 5.8 percent increase.
The public school funding issues that derailed the budget in the House are said to have been worked out in a compromise “accepted by all parties, including the Executive,” according to Senate Finance chair and bill sponsor John Arthur Smith (D-Deming). The budget bill now goes to the House of Representatives.
Sen. Tim Keller (D-Albuquerque) proposed an amendment that would sweep up budget reversions from state agencies (money not spent) and put those funds (approximately $50 million) in the lottery scholarship fund to help with solvency. He characterized it as “taking money sloshing around state government and use it to solve a problem.” Sen. Smith noted that the unspent money was already earmarked. The amendment failed on a 29-12 vote.